Pioneer Capital sells Pukeko Pictures stake to China's Hengxin Shambala Culture
By Paul McBeth
March 12 (BusinessDesk) - Investment firm Pioneer Capital has settled the sale of its 33 percent stake in Wellington TV and film animation production house Pukeko Pictures to China's Hengxin Shambala Culture for $15 million.
The change in ownership has appeared in Companies Office filings and reflected the settlement of an agreement with Shenzhen Stock Exchange-listed Hengxin Shambala in November, Pioneer investment director Craig Styris said in an email. At the time, the Chinese firm said it was buying two New Zealand firms for $15 million and later said it signed an agreement with Pukeko Pictures and other partners on the first stage of a 450 million yuan theme park. The Kiwi production company has described its involvement as providing location-based experiences, combining elements of interactive museums and theatre.
"We've been investors in Pukeko Pictures since 2010 and are very proud of all its accomplishments, and are excited to see it capitalise on the further opportunities in front of the business," Styris said.
Pioneer invested in Pukeko Pictures to help finance its second series of the animated children's programme 'The WotWots', which was first introduced to China in 2011.
Last November, Pukeko Pictures chief executive Clive Spink signed a memorandum of understanding with Blossom Pictures' unit Shambala Cultural Industry Investment and China Development Oriental, a joint venture between China Development Bank and Oriental Holdings, for its 'Kiddets' preschool show to be part of a children's theme park in Beijing.